There you sit at the Christmas dinner, between the soup and the main course, and the conversation has come to a standstill. Not for long! Because this year you can amaze your familly (or friends) with special international facts about Christmas. Did you already know these facts about Christmas? Then you are a greater Christmas connoisseur than we are!
1. The first decorated Christmas tree dates from 1510 The first decorated Christmas tree dates back to 1510 from the town of Riga in Latvia. The first historiography about a Christmas tree dates back to 1531.
2. Jingle Bells is not really a Christmas song at all Every year in December this golden old Christmas song shines through the speakers several times and almost everyone knows a bit of text: Jingle Bells. But did you know that Jingle Bells was actually written for Thanksgiving and not for Christmas at all?
3. An artificial Christmas tree is not so environmentally friendly at all
They sometimes say that an artificial Christmas tree is better for the environment than a real one, because you use it more often. But before a fake Christmas tree is really ‘greener’ than a real Christmas tree, you will have to use it for about 10 years. This mainly has to do with the re-use of the real Christmas tree as compost and the raw materials that are needed for making and transporting artificial Christmas trees. Unfortunately, artificial Christmas trees often disappear much earlier on the garbage dump. Do you want a new tree more than once every ten years? Then it is better to buy a real one for the environment every year!
4. Santa is from Sinterklaas A somewhat more famous Christmas event: Santa Claus is descended from Sinterklaas. St. Nicholas inherited much wealth and was best known for giving away much of that wealth to the people who needed it most. When St. Nicholas was declared sacred, he became the patron saint of children. Thanks to Coca-Cola and painter Haddon Sundblom, Santa was known throughout the world.
5. The Christmas Stocking was first a shoe You probably know it from films and series: the Christmas Stocking. Why do Americans, British, and people in other countries hang such a sock? Well, at first it was not a sock, but a shoe for the fireplace. According to the story, St. Nicholas dropped a bag of gold through a chimney. The bag fell into a shoe that happened to be drying by the fireplace (gosh, where do we know the putting of a shoe even more?). The bag of gold was meant for the father of three daughters so that his daughters could marry.
6. Angel hair really refers to angels
For decades people use Angel hair to decorate the tree. Why did that tradition ever arise? By hanging Angel’s hair in the tree, people wanted to show that real Angels had decorated the tree, some of their beautiful hair had been left behind. Later the Angel’s hair was replaced by the silver and other colored strings, but the idea behind it is still the same.
7. Sweden watch ducklings on Christmas Eve
Since the 1960s half the Swedish population has been watching a cartoon by Donald Duck on Christmas Eve. The cartoon is called ‘Kalle Anka och Hans vänner önskar God Jul (Donald Duck and his friends wish you a happy
8. Christmas presents refer to the three sages
Did you know that giving Christmas gifts to children, but also to our friends and loved ones, refers to the gifts that the three sages gave to child Jesus on Christmas morning?
9. Electric Christmas lights have been around since 1882 You often hear that they used to put real Christmas candles in the tree. And that’s right since the middle of the 17th century little candles were put in the Christmas tree. But since the end of the 19th century, they have gradually been replaced by electric Christmas lights. In 1882 Edward Johnson, the assistant of Thomas Edison, invented the use of electronic Christmas lights.
10. Santa Claus has his own zip code in Canada In Canada Santa Claus has his own postcode, namely H0H 0H0. Children in Canada even get an answer when they send mail to Santa, but then they have to send their letter before 16 December. The complete address is:
11. Peruvians drink and fight on Christmas Day In a village in Peru, Christmas Day is used to start the new year in a special way with a clean slate. First, there is a strong drink, after which people fight a strong game with each other. Peace on earth, shall we say.
12. The Christmas tree drinks one liter per day During the first week that you place a real Christmas tree in your house, it needs just under one liter of water a day to stay beautiful. Of course, we all give the Christmas tree too little water, which means that it loses its needles much faster.
13. Thanks a little: children call Colonel instead of Santa In 1955 Sears, a department store in the US published an advertisement in which children were asked to call Santa Claus. Unfortunately, the wrong telephone number was mentioned. The telephone number was from a colonel in the Continental Air Defense’s Director of Operations, CONAD. So instead of a phone call about a rocket fired by Russia, this good gentleman got phone calls from children with their wish lists. But the children are being put off, Colonel Harry Shoup did not. He and his staff gave the calling kids the coordinates of the Santa’s place of residence at the North Pole. In the years that followed, CONAD changed to NORAD and children still call. At the moment hundreds of volunteers spend part of their Christmas Eve with answering phone calls from children and passing on the exact location of Santa Claus. Even Michelle Obama has already answered phone calls.
14. Silent Night is the most often recorded Christmas song night before christmas the most recorded of all Christmas songs. 733 different versions have been copyrighted since 1978. White Christmas is the best-selling Christmas single of all time. All I want for Christmas (Mariah Carrey) is the most popular Christmas single of our time
15. Santa Claus visits 822 houses per second That Santa Claus goes around the world on Christmas Eve to deliver Christmas presents, of course, you already knew. But did you know that in order to be able to visit all the houses, he finishes no less than 822 houses per second? This means that he has to move with a speed of 1046 kilometers per second. Fast guest, that Santa!
16. Jingle Bells was the first Christmas song in space Jingle Bells is the first song that could ever be heard from space. The Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra sang this song for Mission Control on the morning of December 16, 1965. But not before they really scared mission control!
“Gemini VII, this is Gemini VI. We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, up in a polar orbit. He’s in a very low trajectory traveling from north to south and has a very high climbing ratio. It looks like it might be a … Very low. Looks like he might be going to re-enter soon. Stand by one … You might just let me try to pick up that thing … ” They were natural about Santa Claus, and at that moment, they started to sing Jingle Bells!
17. The Peak refers to the Star of Bethlehem Even though you see him less and less often, for many families it is still a special moment when the peak is placed on the Christmas tree. The Christmas tree is ready. Often, a star or an angel is used here. Both, of course, have a link with the Christmas story. That statement of Jesus Christ is in John 8:32 and is irrefutable. Biblical truth frees us from superstitions and from customs that disapprove of God and that are detrimental to ourselves. The following comments show how biblical truth has released people from different countries from Christmas customs that they saw as a burden.
Liberated by the biblical truth
Argentina “Our family is free from the problems associated with overeating and drinking and the cost of gifts we could not afford,” says Oscar. Mario really felt free when he heard about the ‘Christmas lie’, as he calls it. “I now enjoy showing my appreciation by others by giving them gifts at other times, when my budget permits.” Canada “I love to give and receive presents,” writes Elfie. “But I do not like it when I have to give something. When our family did not celebrate Christmas anymore, that was quite a relief! ” Ulli, a daughter of Elfie, says: “When my parents did not celebrate Christmas anymore, they surprised us at all sorts of times in the year with nice trips and presents, and we loved that! When classmates asked us what it was for, we proudly said: ‘Just like that!’ Yet it was not easy for our parents to live according to biblical truth, because they were put under pressure by family. But they did not matter. That they were determined to serve Jehovah God in an acceptable manner had a great impact on me. ” Silvia also thought it was a liberation not to celebrate Christmas anymore. “I was very happy. I knew that I had the approval of Jehovah God, and that felt better than thousands of Christmas celebrations. “
Kenya Peter writes: “When I was still celebrating Christmas, I borrowed a lot of money to buy gifts and pay extended meals. That meant of course that I had to work overtime, so I could not be with my family. I was very happy to be free of that! ” “I give gifts to my family and friends at all times, and vice versa,” says Carolyne. “I find such unexpected gifts that are given from a pure heart the most beautiful.” Japan “Our children have learned that it is not self-evident that they get presents,” Hiroshi and Rie write. “As parents, it makes us happy to see that they understand that giving must come from the heart. Keiko says: “Our family always celebrated Christmas. If we were certain that our son was sleeping, my husband and I put a present next to his bed. The next morning we said to him: “Because you’ve been nice, you’ve got a present from Santa Claus.” When I heard the background of Christmas and told my son about it, he was startled and started to cry. As a result, I realized that Christmas is not as beautiful as it is always depicted. It’s a lie, and I felt like I had deceived my son by holding on to that lie. ” Philippines Dave says: “It is difficult to express the joy that Jehovah gives us through the pure truths in the Bible. When members of our family give something to others, we do not expect to get anything back. And we give from our hearts. “